Because you’re eating too damn much. This is you right now:
You think all you have to do is to teach your body to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar and that will bring you immediate fat loss.
Come back to planet Earth, my hypothetical internet friend.
This was the first inpatient study that measured ad libitum (as desired) food intake comparing two diets – the ketogenic and plant-based.
20 weight-stable adults were randomly assigned to either the plant-based, high-carbohydrate, or ketogenic, low-carbohydrate diet. Here’s the macronutrient breakdown of both diets if you want to dig deeper and swing your nerd boner around:
Three daily meals plus snacks available all day were provided and subjects were instructed to eat as much or as little as desired:
Yea yea blah barf blah, Egis. Can you just tell me what they found?
Look, if you stop interrupting, I’ll tell, can you do that?
As I was saying, a few interesting points have been found.
First, the keto diet led to increased blood ketones which is thought to suppress appetite. However, subjects on a keto diet ended up scarfing down 550-700 kcal/day more than on a plant-based diet:
Cut the crap, Egis, what about weight loss?
Hey, if you keep interrupting me, I’ll tell you to fuck off and go write your own article. Got it? Good.
Sooo, as I was saying, again, weight loss… The keto diet outperformed the high-carbohydrate diet. The keto diet lost a helluva lot more weight:
That’s a total mind fuck, Egis. You said stuffing yourself to the gills with fat isn’t enough to lose weight but look…
SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP! LET ME FINISH.
There’s a big ugly ‘BUT’ lurking around the corner…
The goal of any diet isn’t weight loss. It’s fat loss and preservation of fat-free mass. Fat-free mass being muscles, internal organs, bones, water, and connective tissues.
Unlike the plant-based, high-carbohydrate diet that resulted in significant loss of body fat, the keto diet had no significant body fat changes:
And what about fat-free mass?
Well, it was decreased significantly with the keto diet whereas fat-free mass was relatively preserved with the plant-based diet:
So how come the keto diet resulted in weight loss but not fat loss, Egis?
Jesus Chocolate Christ on rubber crutches! Finally, a legit question.
Greater weight loss of the keto diet as compared to the plant-based diet was due to losses in body water, glycogen, and gastrointestinal contents. Nothing to do with fat loss. Which means, in plain English, No Bueno. A shitty way to diet.
And why did subjects on the keto diet wolfed down so much food? So much that calorie deficit was out of reach?
It’s dietary fiber. Greater dietary fiber of the plant-based, high-carbohydrate diet (29.9 g/1000 kcal vs 6.8 g/1000 kcal) likely promoted a reduction in energy intake as compared to the keto diet2,3,4.
So if you want to lose weight, why on earth would you exclude vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and dairy from your diet? They make you feel full. That’s all sorts of not smart.
You might suffer through a mind-numbing diet, eat too much and not even lose weight. Why bother?
Who Do You Want To Be?
Lean & Miserable or Lean & Happy?
As I said in the keto diet is a dumbfuck diet article, the keto diet works for very few people. The highly restrictive nature of the diet makes it almost impossible to sustain it long term.
For example, the study5 by Harvey et al found that adherence to the low-carbohydrate diet (5% of total kcals) was the poorest of all diets compared.
As James Fell observed,
Be careful with choosing a diet that is all about cutting things out of your life, as this is not a healthy mindset. It’s not healthy for your body either, as often it leads to restricting nutritious foods.
These diets have their restrictions about certain foods that you can’t eat, and your eating life becomes a long list of no-nos of things you’re supposed to stay away from.
This is a problem because food should be a source of enjoyment, and placing a bunch of unrealistic and unnecessary restrictions on what we can eat, how much we can eat, and when we can eat creates a mentality where food transforms from being a welcome friend to a detested enemy.
Food is life, and thinking about it in a negative sense is not a sustainable mindset. Diets that are focused on a form of deprivation are destined to fail.
How true that is. Using harsh, restrictive eating patterns like the keto diet in desperation for weight loss whilst punishing yourself after consuming carbohydrate-based foods is both useless and unhelpful.
So if the keto diet requires that much effort and sacrifice, why don’t you just track your calories and/or macros?
Go start my nutrition education program where I’ll send you The Macro Meal Planner or download a calorie tracking app and track every morsel of food that you put in your mouth. It takes a lot less time and effort to log your food than it is abstaining from your favorite foods.
Want to become an anti-social weirdo for the sake of weight loss? Keep putting butter where it doesn’t belong, cut your favorite foods, and move into a cave.
Want to lose weight while reaching a place where NO food holds so much power over you, where you eat only the best and favorite ones on occasion to treat yourself? Follow these principles:
- Make sure you’re eating fewer calories than you’re expending consistently over time by making better dietary choices.
- Get enough protein.
- Lift weights and do a little cardio frequently (cardio is optional).
- Find a way to do the above that’s as easy, convenient, practical, and SUSTAINABLE as possible.
Do these and you can forgo the keto diet (unless you REALLY love fat-based food). Because the only way to lose fat is to burn more calories than you consume. It’s not carbohydrates, insulin, or the Loch Ness Monster. It’s goddamn calories.
I know moderation is hard and extremes are so easy. It’s much easier to just stop eating carbohydrates, sell yourself into weight loss slavery for a month, and lose a few pounds. This isn’t the hard part.
The real challenge is continuing to lose weight and keep it off.
That’s why a slow and steady approach with the incorporation of ALL FOODS, regular exercise, and gentle dietary restriction will work best. The problem is that it’s just isn’t as sexy as ketosis is.
I just told you what exactly you should do to lose weight. However, I know that most people are not going to listen and proceed with the keto diet anyway.
But if you’re not one of them, consider working with me and apply for an online coaching program.
Sooo now… uhmm… I’m hungry. I need to eat.